I don’t review books on this site. It’s a conscious decision. As an author, I’m conflicted about reviewing, because I know how much heart and soul and bloody hard work goes into writing a book. If I don’t enjoy a book, I feel so horrible saying, “You know all that love and sweat and tears you poured into this this? Yeah, it didn’t work for me”.
I have reviewed books on other websites – and have been lucky that I’ve only been sent books of the highest calibre, so I’ve had no need up until this point to test my moral compass. But I’m scaling that back now because, you know, what if …?
I don’t see any harm, however, in listing a few books I’m really, really, really looking forward to reading. There’s some stellar YA out now, and coming soon. Australian publishers are doing an astonishingly good job at finding and publishing crazily brilliant talent. I’ve already blogged here about Nansi Kunze’s latest work, and there are a whole raft of other authors doing amazing things. Ben Chandler, Vikki Wakefield, Steph Bowe, Gerry Bobsien, Simmone Howell, Laura Buzo, Marianne de Pierres … Oh gosh, the list goes on and on. And that’s not even counting writing legends such as Michael Pryor, Michael Gerard Bauer and Steven Herrick, still doing amazing things. Too. Much. Awesome.
But I’m digressing. There are so many great, great books coming up. These are just a very few of my long to-read list (and this is only the YA portion of it). Australian publishing, you’re doing it right. But I’m having trouble keeping up!
- The Whole of My World by Nicole Hayes (Random House Australia). This is a book about love, family, secrets … and football. It had me at football, but by all accounts it’s beautifully written, too, and compelling, and I just can’t wait to get my mitts on a copy.
- Mucked up by Danny Katz (Allen and Unwin). Thanks to my darling dad, and the weekly cutting he sends me by post (a highlight of my week), I have been a fan of Danny Katz’s columns for years. I find his novels hilarious and am hanging out for the next snort-worthy instalment.
- Steal My Sunshine by Emily Gale (Random House Australia). Okay, this one is cheating a bit, because I’ve already read this book, in an earlier draft. It was magic then and I am on the edge of my seat with excitement to see the journey it’s been through in the editing process.
- The First Third by Will Kostakis (Penguin Australia). Kostakis wrote his first novel, Loathing Lola, when he was only nineteen. Nineteen. NINETEEN. Right. Now I am over the wild-with-envy part, I do have to say, grudgingly, that the novel was flipping awesome. And, if the blurb for this one is anything to go by, I’m going to love it too. But still. NINETEEN.
- The Zigzag Effect by Lili Wilkinson (Allen and Unwin). I am an unashamed Lili Wilkinson fangirl, so this one was a no-brainer. But also, it’s about theatre and I am a theatre nerd. So. Want.
Further ahead, I’m looking forward to this year’s winner of the Text Prize, The Minnow, by Diana Sweeney, which – according to the publishers – is “the story of a young girl struggling to find her way after a devastating flood claims the lives of her sisters and parents”. I’ve loved every winner of this great award up until now, and this one sounds fabulous.
So that’s it. That’s the pointy end of my looooonnnggg “to-read” list. Now. Can somebody please give me an extra ten hours in each day so I can get started?
In the meantime, can I just say, Australian publishers of YA, I take my woolly Tasmanian Winter beannie off to you. You is all of the awesome.